So there's this thing called busy boards, that parents make or buy for their toddlers - a bunch of household items attached to a board or something similar, and the board will benefit your child in many ways.
It will help him or her explore everyday items in a playful way, while helping him learn and also will give You a moment of much needed free time now and then. The items on the board don't have to be permanent, they can be replaced as your child grows and learns, with more complex items.
People put all kinds of things on a busy board - doorknobs, zippers, padlocks, wheels, ropes, hinges, but mostly household stuff that's been lying around collecting dust, but the main idea is that it should keep your kid busy and learning.
And apparently it's a big business, people make them professionally, to sell them and make a living, some make them for their own family but it seems everyone knows about them except me. So I just learned about them and was tasked making one for our kid by @raili.
So first things first, I want to apologize for the quality of the photos, most of them were taken in dark conditions and it's a dark season as well.. so please forgive me :)
A quick look around the garage later, I realized that with the lack of proper tools and materials, it's gonna take some fidgeting. If you remember some of my older posts, you probably know that I have some age old tools that I have found in my previous rent apartments, cellars etc... along with some newer ones that I have purchased for myself. For example, I haw this decades old hand saw, that I still use to do most of my woodwork... it's almost embarrasing, but to be honest, who the hell cares. I don't nearly do enough woodwork to think about stocking my garage with tens and tens of professional power tools.
So, I decided to destroy one old shelf that was standing in the corner of the garage and was waiting to be taken to the dump yard. A few screws to loosen up, a few punches here and there, and dismantled the shelf was.
Now to re-assemble it again, but not as a shelf, but a board this time. With legs made of .... uh... these bamboo sticks from the other corner, to make it a little higher. Perfect!
Make sure to drill holes in bamboo first if you want to use screws to attach it to something, otherwise it will split like a bananapeel.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention - I sanded the pieces of wood a bit too, to make it easier to paint later and remove the old polish from it.
Already looking like something, but I don't want to drill holes in our walls to attach it, so I was going to have to attach more legs and give it a tilt. Hmm... hinges it is!
While on my trip to the hardware store, I picked up some other junk along the hinges - more hinges, doorlatches, chains, PVC pipes, wheels, brackets and padlock. Oh and an automatic modular fuse. While everything costs just a few measly bucks, it adds up, so he'd better like it :)
These hinges, and some random planks I found in yet another corner would have to suffice for the back legs. The hinges are a bit flimsy but they work well.
And in order for the legs to not spread like a gymnast, I used a chain I had purchased and some screws with flat washers to fix them and limit their angle of movement. There! Looks like a proper stand now. And surprisingly sturdy, considering my beginner skills and tools.
Two layers of chalk paint later (the first layer was grey and just didn't look nice enough, so I bought some pastel green), I decided to attach some rope to the edges, to give it a more cozy look.
Luckily I had wood glue lying around in the garage, although for the life of me, I cannot recall what I have used it for. Since the rope needs some pressure while the glue was drying, I used some handy items from around the garage, to work for me while I lazy around upstairs.
A drawer from the same shelf, and old dumbbell, a plank - all look fine for the job. Added some more stuff to keep the tower standing - a tool case, a drill case, some more planks and an old LCD TV that's waiting it's turn to be taken to the dump yard.
3 edges to cover with rope, so this took me two days to get it all done. Now for the actual busy board. This part I enjoyed most, adding all the gizmos and stuffs. And I still think there a bunch more room for new items to be added in the near future.
And the next evening:
Straps, pipes, a PC fan, a parking clock, keychains, fidget spinners (damn these are awesome!), wheels, an old IP phone, a door with two locks, a padlock, a carabiner, some hinges, the autofuse switch and a bell on a chain with the sound only horror movies produce. Yep, ready to be taken upstairs!
Now a day later, it still is a hit. Phew, was afraid it was all in vain. Maybe I'll make another one soon, now with more effort. This one was made in a hurry to get it ready for the kids first birthday.